Whether you’re looking for the best oil for your car or bike, it is essential to make the right choice. From leading lights in the industry such as Mobil, Fuchs and Shell, there are oils to suit every need. Making the right choice, however, can improve smoothness, performance, reliability and longevity through preparing and protecting surfaces, dispersing heat, and reducing dirt.
The viscosity of an oil is its thickness, and this is important for the operating temperature of the engine – whether caused by the operational activity or the ambient temperature. For high temperatures, viscosity modifiers can increase thickness and therefore offer greater protection as high temperatures, and higher operation speeds, are achieved. Conversely, a lower-viscosity oil is ideal for the winter months.
Oils are often assigned a multigrading and, as this tag would suggest, such a designation is indicative of an oil that can deliver a steady performance no matter the temperature. The viscosity of the lubricant is more resilient to change. Multigrade oils are indicated by two numbers, representing the flow level at each temperature level.
Synthetic vs. mineral
It is also worth noting that synthetic lubricants may offer greater range than mineral-derived oils. Firms such as Shell and Fuchs ensure high-level processes to refine crude oils, though synthetics tend to perform better as there is greater control over their overall composition. Part mineral and part synthetic lubricants are also available, while performance additives can enhance the results of the oil, though careful selection is necessary.
Other additives that can complement the lubricants and oils used in motor engines include detergents to help flush out soot and debris at servicing, anti-wear additives, antioxidants to promote slower wear, anti-rust additives to aid a better resistance to corrosion, and friction modifiers, which can positively affect the dragging of engine components on each other.